Top Ten Best Financial Advisors in Chicago Illinois

Financial Advisors in Chicago

Searching for financial advisors in Chicago?

Every day, hundreds of people in Chicago are searching for “wealth advisors near me”.

Hiring a firm, or trusting an individual within a firm, to invest and protect your money for retirement or wealth accumulation is a big decision. Knowing what asset management company or wealth advisory service to hire can be a tough decision to make. How do you know your money is in the right hands? How do you know about their fees and how it affects your retirement or savings long term? In the financial planning business, reputation is one thing. But the philosophy and how they go about managing your portfolio is much more important.

Many seek the advice of financial advisors in Chicago to navigate sudden changes in life such as marriage, divorce, death or switching a career. Selling a business can often result in needing a new approach, with a good business broker and a financial planner needed to take the seller to the next level of success.

Every stage of life calls for a different approach to saving and planning. If one started investing at age 21, the needs of that person are drastically different than one who starts at 65 years of age. The approach, how aggressive the investment portfolio is and the current income of the different individuals, are all things to consider. Many options are available for those who wish to invest and plan for a final destination—whether it’s freedom from the work force or for a very comfortable eventual retirement. The success or failure to reach the ultimate destination largely depends on the firm chosen and the performance of their services. Let’s not forget that the political climate, the state of the economy and how dedicated the investor is at staying with the market ups and downs are factors that can impact the lifetime results of your long-term financial strength.

Financial planning can be accomplished in several ways. Signing up with an online do-it-yourself investment company is one way. Another is to hire an actual advisor. Both strategies come with their pros and cons.

An online do-it-yourself firm lets you do it without human advice and usually comes with a lower price or cost to invest. After all, another human is not paid for doing research or making transactions in the investment. The option of hiring a wealth manager or financial planner comes with higher costs, but proven to have more lucrative results. Analysts say you can anticipate 2% to 4% higher results when you have direct involvement of an active financial planner versus going it alone.

What Will That 2% or 4% Cost?

Hiring financial advisors in Chicago comes with greater returns but at higher costs? At which point is it beneficial? To know that, it’s crucial to understand how your advisor makes money. It will determine how they work to make you money. Which means it is important to understand the various options and payment structures. Here are the most common choices:

  • Hourly: The investor is charged for time use on his behalf, regardless of assets.
  • Retainer: A scheduled (usually monthly or annual) fee makes the Financial Advisor available, on-call for the advisory services the retainer covers.
  • Flat fees: A set price for financial planning and asset management services. The fees have nothing to do with the amount of the investor’s account, big or small. It’s like ordering off a menu of services.
  • Commission: The financial advisor receives a percentage of the money spent buying high-performing investments, usually charged per transaction.
  • Asset management: The investor is charged a fee based on how much money is invested and fees usually are paid directly from the investor’s account.

If a financial advisor is less motivated to make you more money—for example, an hourly fee—that advisor is more likely to spend time on another account. They make more money the more investments and assets grow in an Asset Management account. But also be aware that conflicts of interest can arise, depending on the fee structure. For example, financial advisors in Chicago might move money around needlessly if they get a flat fee per transaction. Taking a portion of the growth of the investment (commissions) may encourage more thoughtful transactions.

Financial Responsibility

How do you know an advisor isn’t pushing you into investments that benefit someone else’s interests more than your own? Be sure to ask financial advisors in Chicago you plan to work with, “Do you have a fiduciary responsibility to my investments?” The question will tell you if the advisor is licensed or not. If he is, that means the financial planner must invest in your best interest first, even if it doesn’t benefit the financial planner. They are bound by ethics and regulations to do so. If the planner is not operating with a strict sense of fiduciary responsibility, he could lead you down a path that has more risk. But that riskier path can also offer a higher pay off for you, as well as him. Who can say which choice is better? It would be hard to determine. Safer? Or bigger and better results? Like anything else, depending on your unique situation, you may be wise to try it both ways to find which approach is better. The wisest course? Get to know your financial planner and make sure you feel comfortable with the road he or she has planned for you, tailored to the results you desire.

The following are the best financial advisors in Chicago.

Crescendo Financial Planners, Inc.

editors choiceElizabeth Buffardi started as a tax accountant at a public accounting firm in Chicago and became the accountant for a family’s entire investment portfolio. When she realized she treated their money better than she treated her own, she started to learn all she could about investing.  Crescendo was born from Elizabeth’s quest to help people like herself gain control of their financial lives.  She believes everyone’s financial life is as multi-faceted as the other things in life, including home, business, career, investments, taxes, etc.  It all has to work together in harmony. 
Whatever each client’s current situation, Crescendo helps make the financial decisions that will make the most of what clients have now and help build a secure future. Holistic financial planning– a process, not an event–focuses on goals and integrates all areas of financial life, beliefs and attitudes and makes adjustments as circumstances change.

As fee-only financial advisors, Crescendo sells no products and receives no commissions.  An annual retainer covers all meetings and gives full access their advisors at no additional charge whenever clients have questions or circumstances change.  A free initial no-cost, no-obligation consultation lets clients learn how Crescendo helps make financial decisions that lead to financial independence and greater peace of mind.

Crescendo Financial Planners, Inc.
110 Oak Brook Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523

DeRose Financial Planning Group

The professionals at DeRose Financial Planning Group combine 20+ years of experience with the technical know-how to offer the best client experience possible and take a holistic approach in helping individuals and families meet personal goals and reach financial independence. The team focuses on the needs of clients to help them grow, protect, and ultimately transfer their life’s work. Investment Experts assist in building an investment strategy catered that meets each clients’ your specific goals.

People find investing challenging and at times tedious. DeRose FPG strives to make investing effortless and stress-free, and takes into account life goals, time horizons, liquidity needs, risk tolerance and tax considerations. They tailor an Investment Policy Statement to help each client address those financial needs. 
Through monthly portfolio appraisals, quarterly performance reports and informative personal letters discussing outlook and strategy, DeRose FPG keeps investors ‘in the know’ about their portfolio. A disciplined investment planning process is critical to long-term investment success. Investment portfolios are customized to meet the objectives of each client and believe simplicity defeats complexity. They want clients to understand and be able to explain their investments because if you can’t understand it, then you should not invest in it. Investments should be diversified across asset classes, markets and strategies.

DeRose Financial Planning Group
8755 West Higgins Road, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60631

Basil Financial Group

As financial professionals, Basil Financial Group’s passion is helping people make smart decisions about their money. Basil Financial Group was founded to provide comprehensive and unbiased financial planning for individuals and their families. When they start working with clients, they talk about clients’ needs and how they want to lead their lives. The goal is to create a comfortable, confidential environment where clients feel free to discuss financial and personal concerns. Based upon that information, Basil Financial Group helps create a financial plan that supports that vision. Their plan is comprehensive and includes everything from tax planning to investment strategies, insurance and estate planning, and real estate analysis.

Basil Financial Group charges one annual retainer fee so that clients can meet with or speak to their Advisor any time they have new questions or as the situation or goals change.

Financial planning would be easy if life always progressed according to plan. But life is a series of transitions – some planned, some unplanned – and the financial decisions made during these transitions can be the most critical ones. Basil Financial Group takes the time to understand goals, values, client relationships and every aspect of their finances 
When a client has pieces of their financial plan is in place, but each was developed independently by different person at differing times in life, often individual pieces no longer are appropriate for the current situation and goals. Basil Financial Group will make sure their clients have what is need and that money is working for the client as efficiently as possible.

When clients know investments, taxes, insurance, estate plan, retirement plan, and all areas of their financial life is being monitored and adjusted as needed, they can relax and spend time pursuing goals.

Basil Financial Group
4040 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618

Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is an independent, fee-only wealth management firm providing comprehensive financial advice to individuals, families, and businesses.  Groundwork for Savant began with the founding of its predecessor, Savant Planning Group, Ltd., in 1986 and the firm expanded beyond financial planning into wealth management. The independent registered investment advisor movement was in its infancy at the time. In a closed, club-like industry where you needed connections or paid high fees to access basic financial advice, Savant Wealth Management was a fresh alternative that put investors and their best interests first.  The professionals at Savant believe investors deserve truly independent financial planning advice, unbiased by conflicts of interest. Fast forward more than 30 years, Savant Wealth Management continues to act as trusted advisors that serve by acting in their client’s best interest. They work with clients to get them closer to realizing their goals. It isn’t just a profession, it’s a mission. They continuously look out for clients and are passionate about using their expertise to move clients further along the path of achieving great things.  Savant Wealth Management views their clients’ success as their own and empower individuals, families, and institutions to achieve life and financial goals with clarity, confidence, simplicity and peace of mind.

Savant Wealth Management clientele come from diverse backgrounds but hold common values and priorities. They work hard but make time for varied investments and building family relationships and memories. They look for ways to help others and are dedicated to ensuring the well being and success of their family. Savant Wealth Management is committed to helping clients pursue peace of mind through the insight, wisdom, and perspective they offer.

Savant Wealth Management
East Loop
111 N. Wabash Ave
Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60602

West Loop
200 W. Madison Street
Suite 2601
Chicago, IL 60606

Mindful Money Financial Counsel, LLC

Mindful Money Financial Counsel, LLC is a firm that offers fee-only, holistic financial planning and investment advice for a flat fee or hourly, as-needed basis. They see a future where financial advisors are compensated based on the amount of value and impact they make on client’s life and relationship with money. They do not sell commission-based financial products or charge based on the amount of money invested. The ideal model for providing financial advice is closer health and wellness care models used by physicians, therapists, etc. Mindful Money Financial Counsel aims to provide a comfortable place to get trustworthy and actionable advice. Their mission is to elevate client’s and their lives and money. They want to free clients to find deeper meaning, clarity and fulfillment. They collaborate with clients to make wise and thoughtful money and life decisions for a greater peace of mind. 
What makes Mindful Money Financial Counsel unique is their flexible ways to work with clients (one time or ongoing), their objective, fee-only advice, no investment minimums, and no requirements to turn your money over to them. In addition, they are independent, locally owned and operated.

Mindful Money Financial Counsel, LLC
564 W Randolph St. Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60661

Kovitz Investment Group

The team at Kovitz Investment Group are masters of discipline who bring decades of financial wisdom to their clients’ investments. The long-tenured and tight-knit team relies on knowledge and logic, not emotion, to serve clients with excellence. Discipline, patience and an “owner mindset” allow their Advisors to filter out the noise of day-to-day markets and seek value through long-term performance. They know their job is to deliver an unparalleled experience to clients and they act as partners, investing side-by-side. They deliver value through a simple, transparent fee structure. Kovitz provides high net worth individuals, institutions and financial professionals with sound asset management and advisory strategies. The focus on long-term investment solutions, backed by stringent research, allows them to base decisions on expected value multiple years in the future rather than volatile next-quarter expectations.

They treat financial planning and wealth management as active processes, working with clients to identify and implement decisions that suit their needs. As independent financial advisors in Chicago, Kovitz is beholden to their clients alone and manage more than $5.4 billion in assets for those clients.

Kovitz Investment Group
115 S Lasalle St, 27th Floor
Chicago, Il 60603


The Planning Center

The Planning Center opened in Chicago in 2015 when Aequus Wealth Management Resources merged with them. But the team has a long history in working with clients in transition. Cicily Maton, the Aequus founder, began her career working with people going through divorce, she recognized that emotional stress can cause many errors in decision making. She wanted to prevent that impacting client’s financial well being for years to come. The team soon noticed that other life events affected decision making. They developed tools and processes that aided clients in moving through the transition maze with less stress and in less time.

The Planning Center believes that all financial decisions are emotional decisions and to make more effective ones, an objective third party is an asset to talk to about life and money. The Planning Center is a fee-only financial planning firm that provides a safe place for clients to discuss what matters most to them with a team of trusted financial advisors. The goal is to help clients make decisions as better navigate through life’s transitions. They want to guide clients toward the life they would like to have.

Over time, as needs evolve –marriage, family, wealth accumulation, career—transitions require an evolving perspective on priorities, strategies and goals. The Planning Center incorporates this growth and change to help manage financial options to keep clients organized and on course.

Whatever stage of life their clients are in, they have tools and knowledge to support every step of the way.

The financial planning process begins with the current financial situation. Financial advisors in Chicago help set expectations and goals unique to each client’s perspectives and wishes. With this shared understanding, strategies and tactics can be organized to achieve client’s goals as a partnership.

The Planning Center
303 West Erie Street
Suite 311
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 664-4090

Flanagan Financial Services

Before entering the financial services industry in 2000, Milton D. Flanagan started a career developing and implementing strategies for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. His background as a businessman has been integral to his disciplined focus as a financial advisor. Through that experience, he learned that relationships, not just products, define a business’ success. Each client deserves to be treated like any other business: with appropriate planning, execution, and accountability.

Flanagan Financial Services is dedicated to understanding and fulfilling each client’s unique financial goals. Flanagan Financial Services strives to help guide a client’s financial journey so they can concentrate on the most valued aspects of your life. Milton Flanagan is committed to respecting everyone’s goals, dreams and time, qualities which are affirmed by strengthening financial independence.

At Flanagan Financial Services, we believe that our clients deserve the highest standard of care possible. From retirement guidance to investment management, protection planning and more, advisors work to integrate a client’s entire financial life into one cohesive plan. Their mission is to promote the growth that your assets are designed to generate: sustainable income that preserves independence and a legacy that ensures beneficiaries abide by your wishes. 
No matter where a client is in their journey, the primary objective remains the same: to provide objective financial guidance that helps build, protect, and transfer your wealth. With our over 30 years of business experience, Flanagan Financial Services has a high level of confidence in their recommendations.

Flanagan Financial Services
15255 S. 94th Ave,
Ste 500
Orland Park, IL 60462

Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC

With more than 50 years’ combined experience as financial advisors in Chicago, the professionals at Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC, assist with all aspects of implementing clients’ comprehensive financial plan and meet with them regularly to monitor progress to help meet financial objectives. The assist in identifying major financial goals and objectives, then create a customized “blueprint” to help fulfill those goals. They pride themselves on the ability to give clients independent financial advice. In other words, they add structure, discipline, and accountability to their clients’ financial life.

At Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC, they entirely believe in the power of individual choice, after all, that was the same power that founded the firm! They care for clients the way they’d want to be cared for themselves. The founders wanted Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC, to be the kind of place where they would want to be clients, if they didn’t already work there!

Blueprint Wealth Advisors understand that investing is more than a numbers game. There’s emotion involved. People assign different values to money and investing. The so-called ‘best investments’ aren’t necessarily the best for everyone. Blueprint Wealth Advisors tailor investments accordingly. The firm is friendly. Down to earth. Good listeners. Having been in the business a long time, they’ve encountered a mix of attitudes—and a whole lot of market cycles (both good and bad!). They have lot of perspective that can help keep clients on an even keel through the ups and downs.

Some clients want to take a hands-on role in the investment process; others want nothing to do with it. Either way, Blueprint Wealth Advisors goal is to make sure client’s sleep easily at night, secure in the knowledge that their money is working effectively for them. Prudent financial principles make that possible. They treat money responsibly and monitor a portfolio’s performance so clients don’t have to worry.

Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC
20 North Clark Street, Suite 2825
Chicago, IL 60602

RMB Capital

On April 1, 2005, our firm was established with a team of 19 employees who embraced our independent, entrepreneurial model. RMB was founded with the belief that creating an independent firm was the best way to serve clients. Through the years, the firm has evolved, expanded, and innovated—in the types of clients served, the breadth and depth of solutions provided, and in the ways the firm is able to deliver those solutions.
These changes have resulted over 95% client retention and the positive indication that new business is mostly driven by referrals and word of mouth.

At RMB Capital, the goal is to create value for their clients. With insight and expertise, they deliver specialized financial advice and innovative investment solutions designed to preserve and grow assets for a wide variety of clients. In an industry where trust and confidence are paramount, the professionals at RMB Capital build relationships through a dedication to integrity, rigor, and open communication. Every client is a true partner. The advisors empower clients to make informed decisions, which provide powerful momentum toward establishing a lifelong, productive partnership.

RMB Wealth Management offers a rare combination of capabilities for financial advisors in Chicago when it comes to in-house planning and investment expertise. The advisory and investment professionals work together to craft and deliver integrated wealth plans—including financial planning tactics, customized asset allocation recommendations and sophisticated investment solutions—that is designed to manage risk, seize opportunity, and drive results for each and every client.

RMB Capital
115 S. LaSalle, 34th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 993 5800

The team providing this Top Ten list of financial advisors in Chicago believes smart people make smart decisions because they educate themselves on the choices they are preparing to make. We hope we’ve helped you become smarter about choosing a financial advisor that meets your unique and specific needs. We try to provide readers with up-to-date information that will help make those good decisions. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the information we’ve provided and learning about some of the choices for Financial Advisors in the Chicago area.

No content is intended to constitute professional advice. This content is not responsible or liable for any consequences relating directly or indirectly to any action you take or fail to take based on the information provided. It is very important to do your own analysis, based on your own personal circumstances, before making any investment. Consult with your own investment, financial, tax and legal advisers. Readers agree to indemnify and hold harmless the providers of this information, from and against any and all liability, losses, claims, demands, disputes, damages or costs of any kind.

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